Student-Athlete of the Week

January 14, 2013

Athlete of the Week

Alfonso Hernandez

You've got a dual against SDSU this weekend. What do you know about your opponent and how are you preparing for him?

I do not know anything about my opponent. I prepare for everyone the same.

Now that conference season has begun, how are you helping your teammates stay focused to finish strong?

I always try to be encouraging, and I always stay positive. I lead mostly by example, and if my teammates see me working hard I believe it will motivate them to work hard.

On top of being a student-athlete, you're also a husband and father. How does your family life impact you in both sports and academics?

My family has only helped me stay on track. I strive to be an example to my family showing them that hard work goes a long way in whatever I decide to do, both academically and athletically. Everything is for them.

Last year you became an All-American for the first time. When did it click that you could wrestle the nation's best?

It clicked long before I became an All-American. I was already wrestling and having many close matches with Joe LeBlanc and Coach Pendleton. Leblanc was one of the nation's best and Coach Pendleton proved he was the nation's best. That really fueled the fire.

How has last year's breakout season given you confidence for your senior year?

Last year raised the bar. All eyes are on me and I have a target on my back. I love it. Expectation is what gives me confidence. I expect to do better than last year, but that doesn't come without sacrifice and hard work. Nothing will be given and I have to be ready to wrestle on any given day. Preparation is key.

What direction do you hope to take with your degree in kinesiology and health promotion?

I am using my degree to go to medical school to become a doctor.

What is your favorite wrestling move?

I have two: the single leg takedown and front headlock. They have a very high success rate (around 92%).

How do you mentally prepare for each match?

I just tell myself to wrestle to the best of my ability and everything else will take care of itself.

Who is the best wrestler you have ever faced?

Every wrestler has their own strengths and weaknesses so it is hard to choose one. The best wrestlers I've faced are here in Wyoming: Coach Branch, Coach Pendleton, and Clayton Foster. They all know what it takes to be in the NCAA wrestling finals, and Coach Branch and Coach Pendleton both capitalized twice in their careers. I have the best workout partners in the nation who will prepare me to win a national championship.

What do you like most about Laramie?

I love the summers when I can wrestle leisurely, mountain bike Happy Jack, hike Vedauwoo, and enjoy all the summer festivities.